By: M.R. Lalu
It is no secret for anybody with little sense of politics to understand that the Congress party is in deep trouble, slipping through the slippery slopes of prospects in a country that it ruled for more than five decades. Compelled to go beyond its ‘high command’ culture, many leaders in the party began to feel suffocated under a family which perhaps lost credibility. Modi’s entry into national politics has almost toppled the hopes of survival of many in the grand old party, forcing them to turn a mirror on its own unquestionable high command. The G-23 grouping has not only been an accumulation of the downhearted old-timers but it sensibly wanted to lift the capsizing party from a total disappearance. The Prashant Kishor Plan, as what at least some in the party inner circle feel, is expected to work as a redemption formula that the party formally, though hesitant, would like to hold on as the last reed of hope. Why is the Congress hesitant to pull the chain for the strategist is because it has a natural tendency to comfortably snuggle into the memories of its past glory and the impact of the unquestionable influence of the Gandhi family on it – the impetus that the party cherished for ages with great pride, servitude and ecstatic satisfaction. The Kishor Magic that many leaders across party lines think, would work wonders, if given a chance. The beneficiaries of the celebrated political strategist of India, agree to what they call an invincible magic wand, that Prashant Kishor could swing for the Congress too, if not giving it a complete success suddenly, but capable to lift the ailing party from its thickening insignificance.
Every such move of revival made by the Congress should be presumably in the interest of the BJP too. For the saffron party, the emergence of local forces in different parts of the country may not always give goosebumps of delight and a silent giggle of satisfaction. The leaders in the BJP and the RSS are undoubtedly aware of the fact that there is a danger in such small regional parties emerging with numerous self-interests and regional aspirations, indubitably threatening its dream of inching towards an Akhand Bharat. Emergence of small parties and their grouping to challenge the national parties were tested and failed. This trend perhaps is viewed as a move capable of politically destabilizing the country. The Congress party’s efforts to pull it from the gorge of its political apathy should be viewed and valued with sympathy. The recent elections held in five states buried the last drop of hope remaining with the Congress certainly dragging it to an outsider – a strategist who behaves like a hawker, selling his ideas to anybody in the street, with little or no political acumen as a party worker. Surprisingly, the generation gap that the party generated through its decades of hits and misses is so deep as it remained completely dependent on one family. No leader to the stature of a national eminence and ability to pull a crowd is visible in the party. Its complete dependence on the dynasty sidelined everybody, throwing it to the stage of severe political irreverence in the present political context. The way out is of course a revamp and the party leadership’s gesture in this regard is indicative of the urgency.
The BJP is blamed for its communal politics which the opposition parties rating them as their key to success. This may be a camouflaging intent by the parties that disagree with the saffron squad. No doubt, the BJP was capable of catapulting perceptions indicating that it always stood, at least vocally, with the majoritarian aspirations, which indeed should be disputed. On the ground, the reports on the welfare schemes executed so far evidently prove the fact that the government at the center could bring its projects to the last man on the queue without much mishmash. The Congress, when it was in power, mostly failed to implement welfare schemes impartially and its welfarism for the selected few was largely countered by the BJP’s welfare plans for all. The schemes implemented in the last eight years were unquestionably impartial, according to agencies. The Congress’s extreme obsession for a redeemer, a rescuer is signaling to its utter desperation and an urge to come out of an illusory world that it imprisoned itself. The harshest reality that the Congress would stumble on is the sycophancy that it reared and trained its leaders through, and the redemption plan offered by Kishor is triggering to break this menace.
Presenting his meticulously crafted roadmap for the revival to its high command, Prashant Kishor waited for the Congress to respond but the party, though impressive on what the strategist viewed on its plight, offered him nothing special but a position in the Empowered Committee which it set up for the party’s preparations for 2024 general elections. Kishor’s views were almost in line with what the dissenting G23 had viewed and the high command’s decision to lean on and lend an ear to what the veterans flagged long back is a positive sign. Meanwhile the Congress was irritated and skeptical of the intentions of Kishor and his team for striking a deal with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for the next year’s assembly elections. The TRS and the Congress are face to face in the state of Telangana. Kishor, on the other hand, is with a definite plan to dethrone Modi in 2024 and all set to bring the regional bulls to one yoke with Congress taking an important role in the plough. The strategist, seemingly with humility, denied the offer the Congress made, possibly dissatisfied with the trifling weight that the party threw on him. What seems to be mounting on Sonia Gandhi is the magnitude of the threat of existence and the fear of being discarded by the cadre. This must be the reason that the dynasty is still perplexed and hesitant to do the course correction. The Congress party needs to know its traditional voters who, for generations, voted for the party unwavering on any political storm that could sweep seats to power giving it defeats multiple times. Disappointing the grassroot cadre and its voters for long would be more hazardous. The present context is that the party is insecure to strengthen the base, the grassroots, as the leadership itself is clueless on what the party would look like as a system minus the Gandhis. Of course, this is a huge crisis that the party knows is not possible for any outsider with parachuted ideas to easily solve. (The author is a freelance journalist/social worker & can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)